Lecture capture less popular among competitive students

Seven in 10 said they were “comfortable” with lecture capture.

Lecture capture technology, according to a recent survey, doesn’t let overachieving students strut their stuff in the classroom, and they’re not happy about it.

Student respondents in a Clemson University study of the campus’s lecture-capture use gave the recording technology rave reviews, but among the minor critiques was concern that simply watching a lecture online wouldn’t let students academically preen like they do in class.

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The university’s findings were presented during an June 14 session at EduComm, an educational technology conference that brought thousands of campus technologists to Orlando June 13-15.

Pamela Havice, an associate professor at Clemson in South Carolina who oversaw the lecture capture survey, said some student respondents were dismayed that they were no longer able to show peers and professors just how much they knew about a topic.

One student who answered survey questions anonymously said watching recorded lectures alone meant they couldn’t “gain the professor’s attention” and beat students to the punch during class time.

“There’s a real sense of competition there,” Havice said. “And it was kind of distributing information … to know that [students] think professors are going to look down on them” if they’re not the first to answer a question.

Havice said the presence of ultra-competitive students at Clemson could be a result of the school’s effort to become a top-20 U.S. university.

Clemson was ranked in the 70s among U.S. universities in the early 2000s, Havice said. U.S. News and World Report now ranks the school No. 64.

“Good students bring with them that competitive spirit that allows them to excel,” she said, adding that the rising cost of higher education would likely exacerbate that hyper-competitiveness. “I don’t think that in-class competition is going anywhere anytime soon.”

William Havice, professor and associate dean at Clemson who presented the survey findings at EduComm, said it was common for student respondents to want “the opportunity to express how much they knew, and to let faculty members know how much they knew.”

Outside of those complaints, students were overwhelmingly positive in their assessment of lecture capture technology. Seven in 10 said they were “comfortable” with lecture capture, and every respondent said they would recommend recording lectures so students can review the recordings before quizzes and exams.

Seven in 10 students said watching lectures online was as effective as traditional in-class lectures.

Students surveyed nationwide ranked lecture capture technology as the most important technology resource on campus.

Nine in 10 students said they would use lecture capture video if given the choice, according to the survey, conducted by Echo360, a Virginia-based company that makes a lecture capture program.

Thirty-five percent of undergraduate respondents said using lecture was most valuable in improving their grades, while 18 percent said it improved their academic efficiency.